By Jaiya Chetram
Soul, this year’s Academy Award winner for best animated film, is a movie that garnered a lot of attention for its diverse representation and its moving portrayal of a black musician living in America. Released during a time when most movie theaters were still shut down across the country, Soul turned out to be a heartfelt film that families could watch from the comfort of their living rooms.
The star-studded cast features big names such as Jamie Fox, who voices the character of Joe Gardner, and Tina Fey.
Viewers quickly get to know Joe Gardner, a passionate jazz musician turned music teacher. When Mr. Gardner contemplates the possibilities of his career, life takes an unexpected turn. Within the twists and turns of discovering oneself and reaching one’s full potential, Soul lets the audience visit a place of self-discovery. The film seems to universally capture how we all learn to live and grow as human beings. Focusing on not only how life starts, but how we find our passion, this tear-jerkingly inspirational film never fails to tug on the heart strings of its viewers.
While some critics say the movie wasn’t as emotionally fulfilling as expected, the media praised the animated feature’s representation. Since the black protagonist’s main antagonist isn’t racism, viewers of color, such as I, felt a sense of relief. Highlighting black art and the normalcy of black happiness to viewers so young is essential. Showing a movie that features black protagonists in a positive light is imperative for all viewers to see.
All in all, Soul took its place as a fun yet emotional film that featured the long-awaited
black representation on the big screen (or, the small screen). The award-winning film was everything it was supposed to be and more.